Modification actions occur for child support and spousal support or regarding children issues when there has been a substantial, material, permanent, and involuntarily change of circumstances since the date of the last order or decree such that continued application of such support or child provision is no longer appropriate.
Thus, modifications of child support or spousal support may occur due to changes in income both downward and upward (a child reaching the age of majority or for other reasons). It is the burden of the person desiring to effectuate the change to file appropriate Supplemental Petition for Modification. If no such petition is filed, no modification will occur.
In children's issues cases, modifications of time-sharing arrangements or parenting plans may occur based on changes to living circumstances of the parties, repeated refusals to comply with time-sharing or parenting plans, intended relocation or other issues that may arise including new relationships, unforeseen circumstances, or any other factor manifestly affecting a child's well being. Children's issues whether involving time-sharing, parenting plans, parental responsibility, child support, or otherwise are always adjudicated based on the best interests of the child standard. The Court has wide discretion in determining what is in the best interests of a child when making findings and adjudications however it may recognize and weigh both parent's interests while making these determinations.
Generally, modification relief is not available regarding equitable distribution of assets and liabilities although there may be some exceptions. Other forms of relief may be available based on the existence of fraud, coercion, duress, mistake of fact or law, material misrepresentation or omission, or possibly other circumstances. Legal counsel should be sought whether such relief may be available as there are strict time limits for requesting the Court for relief under these circumstances.
At the Law Offices of Jonathan A. Zahler, P.A., we have handled modification issues of all sorts and remain committed to providing our expertise in these areas to our clientele.